Friday, 25 May 2018

Blood Testing For Runners with Medichecks

I got my blood analysis results back today! 

So if you haven't seen my previous videos I took a private blood test with Medichecks  'Endurance check elite' aimed at endurance athletes designed to measure various blood levels.
Video one is here if you want to watch it first

You milk a bit of blood out of your fingers using the kit they send then post it away for analysis in their labs. Whilst I don't have any actual symptoms that concern me, I think for the small cost of the test which could potentially highlight something underlying (ideally I don't want to be that really fit young person that drops dead in a race) you don't know what you don't know so I was keen to find out more and explore myself on a deeper level.... In a non creepy sense.
Anyway.... After splattering blood across my neighbours lounge during the collection process (sorry and thanks Zoe) I sent the samples away on Monday which were taken about 32 hours after finishing the Chester Ultra 100 mile. So when I was signing up to the website I actually ended up creating 2 accounts due to my dodgy internet using 2 email addresses, so where I filled out the health questionnaire was different to the account that I actually ordered the test from meaning the doctor reporting on my results didn't have any information on me to go by....
In one sense the results weren't as personalised as they could have been but on the other hand they've picked up that these results would suggest someone either doing high level body building or intense endurance activities (maybe an 18 hour run) causing inflammation and muscle damage. I plan to retest when I have a more relaxed recovery week from training (harder than it might sound looking at my training plan coming up) The only issue was I didn't send quite enough blood to complete all the tests so a few results are missing.
I'm impressed with the testing and how comprehensive it all is, I did search around at various companies online and for us endurance types there doesn't seem to be any test which covers everything that this one does whilst there are a couple of other popular companies for basic health screens. Quite a few people have messaged me saying they've also used this company and the feedback seems very good all round. Just make sure you order the correct test first time (somehow I ordered the wrong one initially and rang up to get it swapped)

For example one of the tests here for CK - Creatine Kinase
 Your latest result is 2107 which is outside (High) of the normal range. (21 May 2018)
CK (creatine kinase) is a muscle enzyme which signifies muscle cell damage and death. CK levels tend to be higher in people with greater muscle mass.
The level of CK in the blood is measured to assess muscle damage - it can rise rapidly after muscle trauma, but will subside as the damage repairs. If CK continues to rise it indicates that muscle damage is not being repaired. If you have been to the gym the day before your blood test you may well exhibit raised levels of CK.
And in the doctors report which you get...
You have a markedly elevated creatine kinase level. This is a breakdown product from injured muscle. It is a common finding in a bodybuilder or athlete, however yours is at a level that starts to raise concerns about a condition called rhabdomyolysis. The threshold at which we start to consider this is 1000 in a person of average build. The value for an athlete is likely to be higher if they have significantly increased muscle mass or have undergone recent intense exercise.
There are a wide range of potential symptoms. The classic example is dark brown or tea-coloured urine. Other symptoms that would cause concern include muscle tenderness, swelling, stiffness and cramping, accompanied by weakness. There are also some non-specific symptoms, such as malaise, fever, abdominal pain, and nausea and vomiting. If any of these affect you then I recommend attending your local emergency department today. If you are feeling well then I recommend repeating your CK test at least 48 hours after any intensive exercise to establish what your baseline is.
I've run through the various tests in the video part two below

One thing I will say, I was expecting a needle in the post whereas in reality it's a little clicker that looks like a key ring and you just press it onto the end of your finger to take the blood out, no pain or anything like that.
Can't really think of anything else important to add but happy to answer any questions and hope we all stay fit and healthy! Also I spoke to them on the phone and was able to negotiate a discount code which is 'CHARLIE10' to give you 10% off a test as one of my followers for a limited time

Medichecks site HERE
My Video HERE and Part 2 HERE

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